By Li Laifang
Beijing, Oct 7, 2021 (XINHUA) – Despite the impact of the raging COVID-19 pandemic, China-Africa cooperation has maintained its dynamic momentum and is even rising to a higher level through innovative mechanisms and measures.
The Second China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo which ended on Wednesday in central China’s Hunan Province offered a glaring example of this robust synergy.
A total of 135 cooperation deals were inked during the four-day expo, with a cumulative value of US$22.9 billion, both surpassing those of the first expo in 2019.
Since the launch of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2000 and particularly its Beijing Summit in 2018, China-Africa cooperation has developed rapidly and remarkable results have been achieved in economy, trade, investment, people-to-people exchanges, and other fields, benefiting people on both sides.
China has remained Africa’s largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years. Over the past 20 years, the flow of China’s direct investment in Africa has grown by more than 25 percent on a yearly average. In addition, China is Africa’s second-largest agricultural export destination.
With deepened cooperation and exchanges across the board amid traditional unity and friendship, China and African countries have continued to forge an even closer and more vibrant community with a shared future through concerted and creative efforts, which forms an integral and distinctive part in the building of a community with a shared future for humanity.
The mutually beneficial cooperation fits in well with the conditions and needs of African countries and helps them advance industrialization to create jobs, produce value-added goods and enhance their capacity for endogenous development.
This momentum also highlights the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership. China and Africa pursue respective rejuvenation, support real multilateralism, and uphold equality and mutual respect in international relations. The complementary advantages in industries reveal their broad vistas for cooperation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dragged the global economic recovery, yet new growth points between China and African countries are emerging to further spur the win-win cooperation and common development. Bilateral cooperation is on a new starting point with fresh opportunities. For example, clean energy, digital economy and health are among the emerging areas for cooperation.
The China-Africa relationship has stood the test of time. The mutual help in the fight against COVID-19 and the joint building of the Belt and Road have cemented the relationship. China is always Africa’s good friend, good partner and good brother. The great friendship and unity can never be undermined by anyone. Rather, the bond will grow even stronger and deepen further over time.
Through the construction of economic and trade cooperation zones as well as railway, road, port and other infrastructure projects by Chinese companies, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created in Africa. Locals now enjoy better transport services and more opportunities to earn a better life.
China has eliminated absolute poverty and realized a moderately prosperous society in all respects and is fully building a modernized country. African countries are also in the process of their own industrialization.
With a huge market of 2.7 billion people, and the upgrading of all-round cooperation under bilateral cooperation frameworks, China and Africa are set to jointly build a closer and more vibrant community with a shared future and common prosperity.